FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
On this page, we answer some of the most often-asked assessment questions and concerns:
What is the Property Tax Cycle?
Click HERE for a diagram of the Property Tax Cycle in Kendall County - which explains what happens each year.
My assessment went up substantially, how will this affect my tax bill next June?
2020 assessments for Bristol Township went up about 4% this year. This increase was a requirement set forth by Kendall County based upon a 3 year sales history of arms length transactions compared to 2019 assessments. It is the job of Bristol Township to decide how to allocate this 4% increase. Our office studies the sales compared to existing assessments to determine how much a given neighborhood needs to go up. In some cases, the sales do not warrant much of an increase at all. In other cases, sales indicate an even greater increase than 4%. The good news is that property values are finally increasing after many years of decreases. The even greater news is that a large increase in the overall market values of Bristol Township will force the tax rate to come down next spring. The tax rate is generated by taking the total dollar amount needed by a given tax body, divided by the total assessed value of the township. For example, if the school district needed $5.00 and the total assessed value was $100.00, the tax rate would be 5%. If the total assessed value was $110, the tax rate would be 4.55%.
5/100=.05 5/110=.0455 Now this is a very simplified explanation. And there's an assumption that the taxing body is asking for the same amount of money in both cases. But there are laws in place to prevent a taxing body to ask for whatever they want and the first thing looked at is "how many assessment dollars do we have".
Our number one goal is to be as fair as possible to everyone by having accurate market values, fairly distributed among all of our residents. Sometimes this means one property may go up more than someone else in an effort to equalize market values.
The Tax rates came down, WHY is my bill higher than last year?Changes in the tax rates from year to year for various taxing bodies will directly impact your tax bill. For your 2021 tax bill, there were decreases to tax rates for school districts, park districts and other taxing bodies. However, in most cases, the decrease in the tax rates will not cause your bill to be less than last year. Market values went up more than the tax rate came down. Visit your assessment at the county level to compare tax rates from 2018 to 2019 by clicking here: Kendall County Assessments Enter your parcel number and click on "taxing bodies" located on the right side of the page. Click on "tax year" on the upper left-hand corner to scroll between desired tax years.
Why did MY assessment go UP, and my NEIGHBOR'S assessment go DOWN?Your neighborhood may have been re-assessed for uniformity. Uniformity among properties is extremely important in order to be fair to everyone. Uniformity is described as this: similar homes within a neighborhood should have similar assessments. Once uniformity is corrected in your neighborhood, we can then adjust the entire neighborhood based upon the market value for the entire neighborhood.
In addition to our duty of assessing homes at 1/3 of full market value, we are also charged with the duty of assessing like homes in a similar fashion.
For example, in a typical neighborhood where there is a collection of 2 story homes with a square footage of 2,000 square feet, we must attempt to make that collection of homes have a very similar assessment. Because our office can only assess features seen by the exterior, the only features we assess on are features seen/measured on the exterior like garage count (1 car/2 car/3 car), brick fronts, walk-out basements, fireplaces etc. We do not make assessment changes for decks, patios or fences because the contributory value is minimal. We also do not make assessment changes on interior features like bedroom/bath count, upgrades to flooring/cabinetry, finished basements or room count because we do not have the ability to see the interiors of properties. This is not to say that bedroom/bath/finished basements don't add value - they do! But when valuing a neighborhood that is made up of similar homes, the majority of them have similar features. The single biggest factor in determining your assessment is the above grade square footage measured from the exterior. The single biggest market value comparison is what homes are selling for in YOUR neighborhood. In our example of the collection of 2,000 square foot homes in a typical neighborhood, the assessments of that collection of homes should only be different by the exterior differences like garage count, fireplace, exterior upgrades or walk-out basements.
Please feel free to call our office for further explanation on the assessment process or to find out if your neighborhood was on the list for uniformity correction. Click on property search to search for your 2019 assessment, or click here to reach the Bristol Township Publication page.
When are my taxes due?Taxes for your 2021 tax bill will be due early June and September - please refer to your bill for exact bill due dates
Why Are My Property Taxes So High?The Township Assessor only values your property. Your assessment is based on market value and uniformity with comparable homes. Your tax bill, however, is calculated by multiplying your assessment (minus any exemptions you qualify for) by the tax rate for your area.
There are hundreds of different tax rates throughout Kendall County. Each tax rate is derived from the tax levy amounts submitted by each of the tax bodies that serve your area (schools, park districts, municipalities, et al.). By State law, each taxing body may submit a tax levy that is the same as the prior year, plus inflation. This means that, though assessments have been going down for the past several years due to the real estate market, your tax bill itself has been going up. If assessments go down yet the taxing bodies' tax levies increase, this triggers a rise in the tax rate. This translates to a tax bill that is as high or higher than it was last year.
How Does My Assessment Relate to Market Value?State of Illinois requires that all property be assessed at one-third of market value for property tax purposes. To determine your home's market value, based on the assessment, simply multiply your assessed value by three. This produces your market value as determined by your assessor. Please bear in mind that your market value is an estimate based on sales over the past 3 years for your entire neighborhood done en-mass. Your market value as seen by the assessor should not be considered a replacement for an appraised value of your individual property by a licensed appraiser.
Each year, our office takes a close look at all the different neighborhoods to study assessments levels compared to sales that occurred over the previous 3 years. A mathematical equation tells us how much to raise or lower the neighborhood by in order to meet the state requirement that all property be assessed at 1/3 of market value. Because entire neighborhoods are raised or lowered by a factor generated from our sales studies, individual variances from 1/3 of market value occur. Please call our office if you feel your home is being assessed at more than 1/3 of market value.
What If I Feel I'm over-assessed?The first step is to determine if your assessment is out of line with the market by using an appraisal, competitive market analysis, or reviewing sales of comparable homes. Remember that these sales must have occurred within the applicable sales period. (for the 2021 assessment year this is 2018, 2019, 2020 and part of 2021) If your assessment reflects a value higher than the market, contact the Bristol Township Assessor's office. If a change is necessary, it can often be done right at the Assessor's Office. However, if after talking to the Township Assessor you still feel your assessment is not correct, you do have the right to appeal it before the Kendall County Board of Review (BOR).If you object to the Board's decision on your appeal, you can then appeal your assessment to the State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB). 2021 assessments will published in early September. You will have received a tax assessment notice at that time. It is at this time of year that you have the opportunity to protest your assessment for the bill that will follow in June 2022. You have only 30 days from the date of publication to file an appeal. When your tax bill comes the following June, it is too late to protest the assessment on your property unless you have a factual error on your property record card (i.e. square footage of dwelling is wrong).
Link to State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board form: PTAB appeal form
Link to Kendall County Board of Review form for appealing assessments: (link to be updated in September 2021)
Do I Qualify For Any Exemptions?You may qualify for certain tax exemptions; see our Exemptions Page for more information. All exemption questions are handled by the Kendall County Supervisor of Assessments Office . Their phone number is 630-553-4146.
What If I Build An Addition?Any new construction to your property that increases its market value must be reflected in your assessed value. This includes garages, enclosed porches (3 season rooms), outbuildings, pole buildings, new above grade living area (i.e. new living area above a garage) and inground pools. Our office receives copies of building permits which initiates a field inspection to verify the details of the new construction. Any new value added to the property will be reflected in the assessment for the following year. The State of Illinois allows for an exemption on these improvements for a term of 4 years. The adjustment for this exemption will be applied on your tax bill. There is a $25,000 cap in assessed value (or $75,000 if full value) on the amount of value to be exempted. Please note that home improvement exemptions only qualify for owner occupied residential properties.